Are Cured Egg Yolks The New Parmesan?

Cured egg yolks are packed with complex flavor, have an appealingly firm texture and are ideal for putting a fresh twist on familiar pasta dishes.

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March 20, 2017 3 min read
Salt cured egg yolks are a traditional dish in Asian cuisine.

For many people working toward a culinary arts certificate online, grated Parmesan is the indispensable finishing touch on a plate of pasta. The salty taste of the dry cheese makes the perfect savory complement to your al dente noodles and carefully formulated sauce. However, chefs today are increasingly embracing another delicious addition.

Cured egg yolks are packed with complex flavor, have an appealingly firm texture and are ideal for putting a fresh twist on familiar pasta dishes. However, you’ll soon find that rich taste has plenty of other uses. Learn how to make your own cured egg yolks today and start experimenting with this distinctive topping.

Mastering the cure

“Preparing cured egg yolk is easy.”

Preparing cured egg yolk is easy, but you’ll need to plan ahead. Epicurious offered directions that start with mixing 1 3/4 cups sugar and 1 1/4 cups kosher salt in a bowl. Use the salt and sugar to cover the bottom of a plastic container or baking dish.

Create indentations in the mixture and place the egg yolks in them. Slide the yolks in carefully so they don’t break. Then, sprinkle the salt and sugar on top of the yolks and cover the container tightly.

Refrigerate the eggs for four days. When you’re ready to use them, brush off the salt mixture, gently rinse in cold water and pat off with paper towels. You’ll find the yolks have grown somewhat firm and bright in color.

Before you add the eggs to a dish, you can make them firm enough to grate easily by warming in an oven set to low heat. Set a wire rack covered by a non-stick spray over a rimmed baking pan and place the yolks on top.

Heat the oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow up to two hours for the yolks to firm up. Then, grate finely onto your dish and serve.

Cured yolk is savory addition to soup.Cured yolk is a savory addition to soup.

Putting the yolk to work

Chefs across the country have embraced the possibilities of cured egg yolk as a pasta topping. For instance, Mary Dumont of Harvest in Cambridge, Massachusetts, told Boston Magazine she grates the yolk onto gnocchi and spring pea ravioli. Other restaurants have provided even more ways to enjoy this simple, yet irresistible, garnish.

Austin culinary arts students can see one great way to take advantage of the salty flavors at Olam?aie. Chef and owner Michael Fojtasek reimagines classic Southern items in a variety of inventive ways, including shrimp and grits. According to Austin360, this version of the dish is topped off with oyster mushrooms and bacon as well as a cured egg yolk to maximize the savory complexity.

Saveur reported that chef Kevin Meehan has shown Los Angeles how to make that taste a satisfying part of dessert. At Kali, the gelato comes with salt-cured yolk shaved on top. Gunnar Karl Gislason of Agern in New York, on the other hand, makes slices of yolk part of a new potato salad.

If you’re looking for even more ways to try cured egg yolks, Bon Appetit had a few suggestions. The shavings are excellent on crostini or dissolved into soup. You may also enjoy crumbling some yolk onto steamed veggies or even pairing the topping with a fried egg.

Cured egg yolks are a simple and savory way to put a new spin on a wide range of dishes. Start off by using them with pasta for a fun Parmesan substitute. Then, use the skills you learn in culinary academy to find an exciting idea for making this trendy topping your own.

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